The Delhi budget for the fiscal year 2016-17 has drawn a favourable response from SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers). The apex national body representing the Indian automobile industry has issued an official release commenting that 'the budget is a major step in the direction of sustainable mobility of the state'.
While presenting the Delhi state budget, Manish Sisodia, Finance Minister of Delhi, announced that electric vehicles will be exempt from road tax during registration. Also, the VAT (Value Added Tax) on battery operated vehicles like e-rickshaws and hybrid vehicles has been slashed to five per cent from the previous 12.5 per cent.
The government has announced that 1,000 new UBS-II compliant low floor height non AC buses along with 1,000 new buses will be added to the existing fleet in 2016-17 under the cluster scheme. Another 1,000 buses will be added in the premium category via a market driven model which is expected to lure the people into using public transport. The budget also announced the addition of 248 new mini buses.
SIAM has responded by stating that 'these steps taken towards strengthening the public transport system would go a long way in addressing the issue of traffic on road'. The apex national body is hopeful of other states following suit and encouraging the growth of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country.